Years ago when the first FishBoy was a toddler, we met Monkey. I think it started on car rides home, trying to keep FishBoy awake until naptime. You know, when you want the kid to have a good, 2-hour nap in his bed and not a 10-minutes’ catnap in the car? You’ll do anything to keep him awake.
Anyway, we would ask questions to keep him alert. Such as “Do you see a tractor? Do you see a truck? Do you see a monkey?” (Yes, I’d even lie to him to keep him awake. Look! There’s a monkey in that tree!)
From that time on, he was always on the lookout for a monkey. At some point a relative gave us a beanbag Monkey and thereafter, Monkey’s identity was firmly imbedded into our family.
Later this Monkey business morphed into my husband’s making up stories to tell our son when he came home from work. For instance, there was the one about Monkey flying by the jobsite in a helicopter. Other times, Monkey would sneak into Papa’s lunchbox and have a snack. Our little guy was fascinated and started making up his own stories about Monkey and his “brother” Bear. Often the Monkey would leave “treats,” usually M&Ms, in Papa’s lunchbox for him to take home to the FishBoy.
(Hey, some families have the Toothfairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny. We have Monkey.)
The tradition of Monkey treats has far outlived the storytelling, though our littlest ones would probably enjoy a few Monkey tales. FishPapa still brings home Monkey treats on occasion. And every kid — from FishBoy11 down to the FishChick, age 19 months — loves it. I’ve been known to cringe at the luxury of spending 69 cents for a miniscule bag of M&Ms, but what wonderful memories my sweet husband is making with our children.
(I guess I better stock up at the next sale at CVS, eh?)